5 Steps to a Healthy Workspace
Across a diversity of sectors, a productive physical environment is essential to success.
According to Gensler's Workspace Index, "the design of the workplace impacts performance, employee engagement, and innovation." The report highlights the importance of quality primary space and that individual choice within that space is a significant driver of performance and innovation.
Steelcase also reported similar findings. Employees need to feel relaxed and calm, be able to concentrate easily and be able to work in teams without disrupting others.
While we may not be able to fully control our space - especially if shared - small changes can make a difference. If working from home, use your autonomy over your space to your advantage.
In short, the design of your workspace matters.
Design for Success
Let’s jump right into the five steps.
Natural light will make everything look fresh and airy.
If possible, position your desk in a spot with natural light and open the blinds. Take measures to reduce overhead, flickering and glaring light.
In addition, incorporate light tones in your space. The light will reflect and multiply – creating an even brighter space.
You can exercise some control over the materials you engage with, even in a formal office space. Bring in some of your favourite things, such as fresh flowers, plants, framed photos, art or some of your own stationery.
Researchers at Washington State University found that study participants' blood pressure levels were lower when plants were present in the interior. Increased attentiveness was also cited as a result of being in rooms containing plants.
There are many easy-care plants that are affordable and beautiful. Plants enliven an environment and play an important role in purifying the air (plants absorb pollutants that can negatively impact your health).
Easy-care choices are air plants, fiddle leaf figs, spider plants or succulents (take care to not overwater succulents). Some plants are toxic to pets and people so do your research according to your needs.
Think about what you do on a daily basis. Do you use a lot of paper or are you paperless? Do you need lots of coffee or water or both? Have all these essentials around you for easy access while still allowing for plenty of physical movement in your daily routine.
Don’t overload your space with trinkets and unnecessary items - they will end up cluttering your mind too. We need a lot less than we think - reduce your belongings to the essentials. When it comes to a healthy workspace, less is more.
5. Focal Point
Do a 360 degree assessment of your work space. Where is the nicest view? Do you have a window? What is the focal point (the place where your eyes naturally rest)?
Position your desk to look outside but be mindful that you don’t need to push your desk flush against the wall. In fact, placing your desk in the centre or just off-centre of the room provides a spacious atmosphere.
If you have no view, or window or time to DYI, no worries! You don’t need a perfect office to create great work.
For a more in-depth look at this topic, download your printable ebook below.